Thursday, August 31, 2006

Norton Summit

Yesterday John had a meeting in Norton Summit and I went along for the ride, well I had to as we had stuff to do in Adelaide and this was on the way home.The plase that the meeting was at had this car park with the most incredible view down to Adelaide and across to the sea with this deep valley below. The township itself is almost up on a ridge and it is where one of our famous Premiers came from, Sir Thomas Playford who grew cherries and was Premier of this State for a very long time. And a very astute man.
Any way the first one is of these huge dark pine trees almost glowering over the top of this farm house roof. The second is of what I could see of the very grand church looking at it from across the roof of the building in front of me. It was all in shadow and surrounded in huge trees so a little hard to work out what shape was what but I am quite pleased with the way it came out.
I was up really early this morning as I have to get Celina and Gaby off to the school bus by 7.50, dressed, showered, lunches packed and breakfast eaten. Whew! Not me at all who is usually a bit slow in the mornings.
I will put a couple more of my sketches on With my boots and sketchbook blog in the links.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Latest Fabric ATC's

These are my latest fabric ATC's. I made them last week, the left hand one is a base of various things burnt back with my heat tool and the other one is the same but with gold shiva stick over before I burnt it back. Beads, sari silk and metal with flower stitch foot. I had fun.
Adelaide today and I saw my mother, there are also a couple of sketches I did while John was at a meeting in the pipeline.
My mother looks ok but is in a wheelchair but I do worry about what happens next. I am glad I saw her.
Waiting for my grand daughters who will be here tonight and tomorrow night. They always give me a lift.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

EDM challenge, Lamp post

I did this a little while ago, sitting in the warm summer evening waiting to go to my beading class. Here it is still cold and althugh it keeps on promising to rain so far it hasnt, well a few drops, nothing of any significance. We are so far below our winter rainfall it isnt funny.
Our town has these lights all over the place and they are rather lovely, if a bit incongruous as we have so few old buildings left.
The sketch is a bit wonky, I dont seem to be able to do very straight lines and I am sure it is because of the hole in the retina in my left eye. My right eye has compensated really well but drawing straight lines doesnt always work. Must take a small ruler with me, just one more thing to add to my handbag!
More bad news about my mother, apparently she has had a fall and broken a bone in her foot, but of course because she has slight dementia forgets that she shouldnt be walking on it. This is all second hand so far as my elder sister rang last night in a panic about it and so far I havent got through to the nursing home.
I dont know what you do in these circumstances and I am so far away, and at the moment think I may be going down with whatever John had last week. No car available either. I hope it is not as bad as it all seems,

Monday, August 28, 2006


I was heading up to Adelaide in the very early afternoon yesterday and i saw this half grown echidna on the side of the Back Valley bridge, luckily I had my camera with me as he was a really quite dark fellow looking very bright and where he was he couldnt rush away from me as one side was the drop into the creek and the other the bitumised road.
A very handsome fellow.
The other photo is why I was heading to Adelaide on a Sunday! Old school friends Pauline (known as Schom at school), who I had met ages ago but not since and Darrien who I hadnt seen at all since we left school. A delightful few hours spent at the coffee shop in the Botanical Gardens catching up with them and Denise who I have seen but not for a few years as her husband is ailing and Di who again I saw about 10 years ago. Some of us look good, some not so good, but interesting where all our lives have taken us as we head for 70 (well 3 years to go).
A bit frightening in a way, I feel at times totally inadequate, most of them went to University but then I have also seen some of the world, had an interesting life here and I certainly am not sitting back wondering where it all went, there is still so much to do.
Raced home to find my dinner guest talking to John about local matters and organised a meal in about 3/4 of an hour and was able to enjoy the talk and chat.
Very tired at the end of it, the traffic to and from Adelaide was not predictable.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

My mothers wedding party

I found this old photo while going through my mothers stuff, I had never seen her entire wedding party before and must ask her who they were as I only know my mother. She was only 18 at the time, but I just love the hats and the frilly dresses for the little girls. It is slightly out of focus which is probably why I havent seen it before. I think the photographer somehow focused on my mother and the little girl to her left.
Her train was supposed to be Honiton Lace.
I remember her telling me that she had an unfashionably large bosom and it should have been bound, doesnt look much like it.
So many things seem strange to us now and so many things that we dont know and soon it will be too late to find out.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Flowering pear

I took this photo two days ago when I was walking, it is a flowering pear we planted a few years ago in one of the shelter belts. I should remember its name but cant at the moment. It has been quite spectacular, as have most of what has been flowering up till now, still the apples to come.
Today I spent going through boxes and doing a bit of a sort, I also played on my sewing machine but havent got very far with what I am doing there. My joints are aching so I have been rather slow today.
I had a call from an old school friend today and a few of us are meeting at the Botanic Gardens for a coffee on Sunday which should be nice, I havent seen any of them for so long.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


These are the ATC's that Dale sent me in exchange for the ones I made for the Perth Show, I cant remember its correct name, sorry, the top one is Jennifer Green's. the left bottom is Kelsey O'Mullane's and the bottom right is Liz Plummer's. I love them all and thank Dale for choosing them.
Today has been very wet and grey and miserable, and cold after the last very warm burst of weather. When I say wet, well it drizzled all day and we got about 1mm out of it.
I spent a large part of the day sewing up bases for some ideas that I have that I hope will look good when I have finished, I must say I love making crusty surfaces out of layers of nappies, shiva sticks, panne velvet, felt, chiffon scarves, lots of stitching and "bits" vliesofixed together and zapped.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Shrink plastic fun

These are the little tiles I have done using shrink plastic, they have almost become addictive. They have mostly been done in slightly different ways, I coloured most but not all with Fabrico pens and used a gold pen around the edges, One I used teture paste on and then painted and rubbed with treasure gold, One I painted with cheap metallic acrylic paints and then used pebeo vitreous liner (gold) all seem to work well some with more texture than others. Oh yes, my mistake was the one with the stamped face, I tried to emboss before I shrank, it is better afterwards!
John is still feeling a bit "off" today, nothing positive, just not well. I went into Victor to get the mail and some horse food and spent most of the day trying to get some backgrounds for some dolls I am making and I have another ATC to make, so if I have to make one I will make more.
I received back from Dale of the Thread Studio three ATC's today that were at the Perth Show. One from Kelsey O'Mullane, which I am thrilled about, not fabric but I love what she is doing, another from Liz Plummer, I now have two of hers, and and another fromJennifer Mary Green of the Art Tarts Club, Gorgeous all of them. Will put them up tomorrow.
A bit of drizzle today, all of about 1 mm, we hope for more.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Adelaide skyline

I hope I havent put this up before, If I have well age is definetly getting to me.I took these photos early on a morning I was in Adelaide a few weeks ago. Adelaide is called the city of churches, we seem to have a church on every corner. This is looking down towards the University with the Elder Hall flying the flags.
It is a lovely small city, easy to get around and nice to walk in.
John is not at all well today, I have been close to home and hope I dont go down with whatever he has.
I have been setting up my sewing machines and playing yet again with shrink plastic, the tiles are so small they are hardly worth scanning, but I am perservering with various methods of colour ing them in.
I hope that tomorrow I can get at my machines and get some backgrounds made up.
I have sent off my deposit for the Horsham Fibre Forum to be held next April, I hope to do Glen Skein's class on making small shrine like boxes. Sounds like fun to me.
Jae Maries class in Adelaide inOctober is looming fast too, not sure how I will cope with that one.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Wild flowers

These were taken on our walk down to Parsons Beach yesterday, the red is called running postman and is a bright red pea flower, the other I am not sure about, John thought native indigo but neither of us were certain. These limestone cliffs are difficult to walk down, so many things to trip you up, and steep but are wonderful for native plants.
Today I made a rushed trip to Adelaide to collect my sewing machine as I need it, didnt call in to see any one, was home by about 1.30, to find John not at all well I presume he has collected one of the many virus's that are around. I hope he gets over it quickly but the ones my grandchildren have had have taken at least a week. The problem with all the meetings he goes to.
It was supposed to rain today, we have had more wind, it is cooler but only a few spots. The weather people are saying that so far Adelaide has had 6mm and the average for August is 68mm, a big worry across the whole state as water in the reservoirs is low and farmers are very worried, and I think we are all watering our gardens. We just seem to miss out on all the lows going past us.
The windchime I made yesterday out of old forks and spoons is sounding lovely, they have a lovely tone, much better than the bought ones. Only problem is that if I can hear them it means it is windy again.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Parsons Beach and Spring blossom

Today we went walking on one of my favorite beaches about 15 minutes away from home. One person fishing and as we left a few surfers coming down the rocky and steep track. We did a bit of beach combing, I am an avid collector of "things" and we found a broken but new fishing rod which John has repaired and will see how it works, and I found of all things an arrow. I have no idea what that was doing there, also a handy bit of drift wood and some poly rope that we brought home as it is not good for the seals etc that can get tangled in it.
No whales today but this week a very startled and lone surfer found himself surrounded by 3 young male whales who came to look at him. I think mostly they are around the corner at Middleton.
The other photo is of my lovely little self sown plum tree at the bottom of the orchard that is covered in blossom and is telling me that spring is not far away. Although it could do with more rain as we are desperatly dry. At the moment we are going from one sprinkle to another and i have serious hoses on in the garden.
Today I have been playing with shrink it plastic, great fun to do and I have been trying out various methods of paint and stamp.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Polymer clay necklace

I made these faces in polymer clay at the Grumpy Women's weekend and then wasnt sure how to put them together so they sat there while I thought about what I had to go with them.
this is the final decision, using a few polished stone beads and some I think wooden rings I had bought for a $1 in a thrift store and some wood and bone beads I already had it has come together quite well. John calls me a witch doctor when I wear it, thought about it for a few minutes and then said he wouldnt be surprised if I WAS a witch doctor!
I really had fun making the ugliest faces I could think of, then painting them white and then with burnt sienna or was it raw umber, maybe raw umber, rubbed off all but what stayed in the cracks and crannies.
A lot of fun.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Playing with colour

I was playing with my Pitt pens and seeing how they can be used, and generally having fun!
I really like the bold colours you can get but they are just another bit of "stuff" I carry with me to sketch and colour.
My shed is a bit clearer now, some of the furniture has gone thank goodness. I seem to do nothing at the moment but clean things up and then make more muddles.
We had another mm of rain last night and there were a few puddles on the road. Some of the prunus are out and look lovely, a self sown one down by the front gate is looking stunning this year, a cloud of white. I also noted that the Manchurian pears are covering themselves as well. Wattle blossoms, daffodils, Spring is just around the corner.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Adelaide skyline

Finally I can get something up on my blog, installing firefox seems to have done the trick but it has taken ages with me hoping that it would all come right by itself, vain hope!
We spent a couple of days in Adelaide and this is the view from the 10th floor bedroom we had at the Stamford plaza, I dont know what building the lovely shaped cupula is on, I must see if I can see it from the street. I hadnt really taken any drawing stuff with me as it was a very rushed trip, although having room service and only me was wonderful (John had a dinner to go to). I have felt so tired and so rushed off my feet lately.
I went to see my mother with my sister yesterday and took her for coffee, she was being really good and positive which was great, and then we went to do the final clearing out of her house.The car was absolutely laden, even tho we thought we had sent most of it down with the removal truck. There were still paintings, and more paintings and yet more paintings.
The night before we took 4 huge pots around to my friend Paddy's house, I am not sure how they will come home but eventually.
Then I had to unload the car as John had farm business to attend to. It was an absolutely foul day, blowing a gale all day, power just on when we got home, and then blessedly it rained and we had just over 6 mm which wasnt enough but has at least given things a bit of a drink, now for some more. I am not sure how hopeful that is, looks like dry weather and more dry weather with some not very good changes if we are lucky.
So today is re grouping, working out how firefox works, trying to tidy up rooms that are still full of furniture I dont want as Tabby hasnt been to collect her stuff.
I am so pleased I am back to blogging, I cant believe how much I missed it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Interesting week end

We had a very busy week end, but an enjoyable one. On Saturday we tidied the house, did some cooking in preparation for our Japanese guests on Sunday.
In the evening we went out to dinner for the South Australian Rural Women's Gathering. John with his Flerieu Regonal Development Board had to make a speech. I have never heard him booed before! Thing was it was all my fault as I told him his speech was awfully boring and he had better liven it up, eg what did he know about rural women? He said I was the rural woman he was closest too so made his speech around what a good gate opener and sheep dog I had made, but then went on to qualify it with all the positive things I had done on my own, I dont think they were listening to that part, and it makes me sad to think that they thought he was being sexist etc, when I enjoyed all the things we do and did together on the farm. How times have changed, now they all have "other jobs" and dont actually work on the farm. I suppose I was a conventional farmers wife, cooked, cleaned the house, had chooks, repaired and made clothes, made a vegetable garden and helped wherever and had 4 children to boot.
When we had some time and money to pay others to do it, I became very involved with breeding my Welsh ponies. so much so that today they are well known all over Australia, I was President of the National body and have been honored by a life membership.
I have also gone from a practical garden to one visited under the Open Garden Scheme, although age has let me down a bit there so I no longer am involved, I have gone back to my love of sewing and textiles and am having a ball in that area.
That we have gone back to hard times on the farm just means that I am back to chooks and vegetable gardens and the cheaper cuts of meat.
I think I will talk about our lovely day yesterday in another post.
Oh and I still cant get images up on my blogs, frustrating but I hope it resolves itself.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

EDM challenge ears

I have had a busy few days trying to get my house straight and furniture moved around, very tiring to say the least.
We have had mornings of frost and then bright sunny days. I am watering the garden it is so dry. We had some fellows come to cut back some of the very overgrown stuff in the garden, It now looks bare and a lot bigger in some areas.
I have drawn ears for the EDM Challenge. Not particularly good ears but here they are.
I have been having problems with blogger not letting me put up scans but I think I have fixed it now.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Once more this is a very wonky primitive drawing! I seem to be having trouble with my bad eye getting things straight at the moment.
Any way this is my version of packing up my mother's unit. John felt it looked very oriental, I think I am looking as if I am praying to great God box. What I am trying to convey is down on knees wrapping up glass ware.
No wonder my back is aching so much.
We managed to get most of the boxes that I had packed into the car and into our newly cleaned out shed. Packing some of those shapes was to say the least interesting.
Pen and pencil.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A day in Adelaide

Yesterday we spent all the morning packing up yet more boxes. I had been up at before 7.00 and walked around the block for about 20 minutes which actually helped my back. As a farm girl I find it interesting to see how many different ways people lock themsleves and their cars in.
We had done enough by about 12 so collected some lunch and sat reading the paper in the car in a pleasant street until John had to go to his meeting and he suggested I walk down to the Botanic Gardens.
It was very pleasant sitting in the sun, I did a painting of the dry garden which is on my boots and sketchbook blog and this with the Pitt pens which wasnt so succesful, what I like about it is that I picked a violet that smelt absolutely wonderful and tucked it into my sketchbook and there it was when I went to scan it.
In the Gardens bookshop I found a small Moleskine notebook, is that what I should have for sketching? It is plain paper and just calls itself a notebook. I bought a small one as they were very expensive. Not a watercolour one to be seen.
My mother when we saw her wasnt in a good frame of mind, although my sister said she was really good in the morning. Luck of the draw I guess.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Evening sky

I actually put the sky only up on my boots and sketchbook blog but decided to re work it a bit and put in the misty shapes of the hills.
We have had some very cold frosty nights again and some lovely sunny days, but this was a few days ago and the clouds were going this incredible orange in one quarter of the sky.
I have had so little time to play this week and probably next week as well.
I leave for Adelaide in an hour and wont be back until late tomorrow. I will see my mother and then the dreaded packing up begins. My back does not like me at the moment so I will be very glad when it is all over.
I really like this little painting!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

More scenes from Mambray Creek

I have a thing about old farm machinery and rubbish, One day I would like to think I could paint them well, but know in my heart of hearts that probably wont happen. I wondered about the story of this old car in a shed that is no longer there.
I have caught up with some washing, sewing, made a soup stock and a few other odds and ends today, John went fishing and even that wasnt brilliant, two red mullet for the cat and a couple of King George whiting, enough for a meal for us any way and at least he got to go out of the house.
We are out to dinner tonight and up to Adelaide again tomorrow and wont be home until Monday night.

Friday, August 04, 2006

EDM Challenge Souvenires

I bought these little wooden kokishi dolls on two different trips to Japan, I love them both, the right hand one is a more traditional Girls day doll I believe and the other is a more modern version.
They were done with watercolour pencils wetted after I had drawn them.
Of course after they were done I discovered that they were rather wonky, but I still quite like them.
A busy day, grand children to get off this morning, lunches to get, shopping to do, but I did have a few minutes to myself doing the drawing, I would love a bit of time to actually paint but so far it hasnt happened.
I walked the dogs up to the top of the hill tonight and found that one of the gums on the top of the iron stone rise that I like to climb up to had broken off a large branch so I collected some seeds and flowers from it while they were fresh.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Grumpy week end

aThe first photo is of two of the Grumpy girls working hard and the second one is of my strange polymer clay faces waiting to be made into a necklace and two gold foilded pendants that we made over the week end as well.
Since I got home I have been very busy cleaning out my cupboards and my shed. I have done sketches on the boots and sketchbook blog (in the links). This is to make room for some of the stuff coming from my mother's unit.
I seem to be a glutton for punishment as I just get tireder and tireder (if that is a word.)
I rang my mother today who sounds a bit confused but cheerful. I hope to get to see her on Sunday.
To night I have two of my grand children staying overnight, and Spot the dog for the week end. We have had very little rain and it is getting warmer and warmer, I hope this isnt the end of winter and any rain or we will be in a dreadful mess.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Where I have been

These photos were taken on my walk in the morning and afternoon while I stayed at a friends farm near Mambray Creek which is between Pt Pirie and Pt Augusta. It was so peaceful and lovely with lots of bird calls and not much else.
The first one is looking from the back of the house towards the other side of the gulf and the second one is of the Flinders Ranges taken from the front of her house. A five hour drive from home.This is edge of desert country but being winter they have had rain and some people have taken a punt on getting something back from the odd crop so it looks lovely and green. Rainfall has not been good for most of the year.
I am now so tired I can barely think.
We had a very stimulating week end with our Grumpy Women lot with lots of laughs, too much food and late nights. We did all sorts of different techniques so I have come home with lots of little samples.
My sister tells me that my mother seems to have accepted things pretty well, I dont think I can get to see her until Sunday. I have to go up soon to get her house in order and pack more stuff up prior to the removalists coming.
At the moment my house is the priority, it is in dire need of a good clean, it has taken me all day just to tidy what I took away with me up. I seem to get so tired easily too which is really annoying me.